Fire cracked around me as I walked down the crooked stone path. I don't where I am and I'm cold. So cold. I can't feel my fingers, but something in my gut tells me to keep going. Keep walking. Touches lite up the darkened path as I walk. There's no one else around me. I keep looking back, but I don't see any one. I keep pushing forward as my heart skips a beat. I look forward, down the mountain side and see them. Hundreds of people wearing black robes watching me. I trace my finger around my sleeve.
I'm wearing a white, thin dress. I have no shoes and my golden hair is curled in perfect whirls around my face. I feel scared, but at the same time, I'm strangely comforted by the smell of lavender and pine. As I reach the bottom of the path, a woman and a man both wearing a robe with the hood down. The woman has grey hair, neatly up in a bun. Her face is worn down from the years, but she smiles like a child. The man's hair is starting to turn grey at the edges and his face is scared with a scratch right below his left eye. It traces all the way down to his chin. He doesn't smile, but he offers me his hand.
I take it even as my mind screams no. He squeeze lightly as the woman comes and takes the other hand.
"Emerson Rose Fray has come of age to regain the sacrificial cure to all of us. Our savoir. She comes before all of us, brother and sisters, to welcome the evil into her heart and to let them take her soul to bring us to peace, so that we may rejoice in the holly rituals from the gods above," her voice was strangely angelic, even as her words stabbed me in the chest, like a knife, cutting away any sanity I had left. The crowed below shouted in agreement, some looked at me and someone wouldn't meet my piecing eyes.
The man and the woman led me to a table, in the middle of the crowed. The alter like object was surrounded by candles and lilies of all different colors. Mostly, my favorite ones though, Star Gaze lilies. The crowed backed up and formed a perfect circle around the alter. The woman laid me down on the stone alter. The man came up with his hands behind him.
"The time has come, Emmy. Your time, my darling," my mind told me to fight, but my body just lay there. Accepting. He came closer and the woman smiled. I looked up at the sky. Watching the stars. Watching the pine trees surround us. Listening to all the people murmur thanks and savoir. Listening to my breathing slow and my heart return to it's normal rythim. Dum, dum...dum, dum....dum, dum. I closed my eyes and listened to the thumping of my heart. Dum, dum....dum,dum. Then I opened my eyes in time to watch as the man held a knife inches from my heart.
"Let this be known. Your soul will be freed and you will be in peace. We thank you for your sacrifice. Your birth saved us all. You were born to die for this purpose of protecting your family," he paused for a second, "may your soul carry you to peace and strength."
"May your heart carry you to safety and courage," the crowed repeated.
Then the knife came down. Time sat still. Making me watch the slow plunging of the knife into my heart. My heart stilled and my breath caught. Moments before the reached my skin, a light burned above him. In the sky. A bright light, almost like the sun. Until it was so bright, the piecing light blinded me as my name was called.
"Emmy?" Until my body was being shook.
"Emmerson!" Until a blood curdling yell rang out in my ears. Bouncing off the walls of my mind, bringing me to open my eyes. To stare up in the face of Lizzy and the ceiling of my bedroom.
"What the hell? Your bedroom looks like a tornado hit it," Lizzy climbed off of me and swung her arms around the bedroom. She was right. It was odd for me to have a dirty room, but clothes lay everywhere and my trash can was emptied on the floor. There was no floor, the bed's quilting and sheets were on the floor, so was my pillow. My room was a disaster. I sat up and rubbed my head, a ache settled in the front left side of my head.
"I have no idea. I had a wild dream, I could've done it in my sleep. It wouldn't be the first time. Lizzy looked at me and we both shared a silent moment. We both knew what I meant. The sleepless nights that followed our parent's death.
Breaking the silence, Lizzy smiled, "Aunt Jen and Uncle Steve made breakfast! Then we start our first day of a new school!" Lizzy and I were homeschooled. That was before the incident, so when we moved in with my uncle and aunt they decided to start us on public school. The thought of leaving the comfort of home and exchanging it for some pre-mature teenage boys, scared the crap out of me.
When I was younger, I watched Lizzy as her and mom danced around our living room. Pretending that Lizzy was going to a dance. I wasn't old enough to start my classes, but only by two years. At this time, Lizzy was eight and I was only six. She was in second grade and I was just beginning "first" grade. Our school system was different then the public system. At least, that's what I have been told. I would officially know by late afternoon.
Lizzy was excited to meet the junior and senior boys. I was nervous to even walk into my first class.
"It will be fine! It'll be fun! Meet all the pretty boys and go to dances!" Lizzy carefully plucked her fork into her waffle. I took my spoon and spooned a not so discreetly bite of a cereal out of my bowel.
"You like dances. Not me. You like the pretty boys, not me. I don't think this is such a good idea. I mean what if Lizzy happens to fall in "love"," as I drug out the word, love, I put air quotations around it, " then would she be cast under the spell and be traumatized and give in to the sexual peer pressure?" My aunt turned around and her face lit up with surprise and trauma. Her pink eye shadow and red lips outlined the worry in her sulken blue eyes.
"I'm kidding, Aunt Jen. It was just a joke